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Labor & Employment Law: Strategic HR Lawyer
Solve a Business Problem - Even a Small One
Human resources professionals are often referred to as 'they.' Usually when described in such a way, there is usually a finger pointing to 'over there.' This infers that human resources is somehow distinct and separate from management and employees. When this happens on the part of management it usually stems from the perception or belief that human resources is not business. More specifically, from the belief that human resources cannot help managers solve a business problem they are facing.
Getting involved in business is always easier when you are the new kid on the block. When you are the new human resources professional, you just start getting involved those nonbelievers who would have challenged you if you had been there for a while, will give you the courtesy of getting involved in their business – at a minimum to see what you can come up with.
As the new human resources professional if you are confronted with a manager who is not used to having human resources involved in the management of their business, start with something small that has people/employee implications. This may include:
- Modifying the staffing in the department in order to control overtime.
- Creating job descriptions where they didn't previously exist.
- Analyzing performance issues, before they come to human resources, which may indicate a training need.
The key is to use your expertise to solve THEIR problem. At this point 'no' is not a word in your vocabulary.
As the human resources professional who has been around for a while, you need to make a paradigm shift. Assume the worst and start small.
- Take baby steps to get to know your managers.
- Start with a new manager who has joined your organization and make him or her your biggest fan.
- Start with an employee who has just been promoted to management and coach him or her along.
- Start with a manger you trust.
The key in all of this is to have little successes. These little successes will create fans throughout the organization. Little success will lead to bigger ones and before you know it, you will be well entrenched in the business of the business solving big problems and making lots of money.
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